By Edward Tsumele
Ismal Mahomed who announced his resignation from the Market Theatre Foundation in May, and service his notice at the institution until June 30, is headed to Durban.
Mahomed has landed the top position of director of the Centre for the Creative Arts based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This appointment effectively puts Mahomed in charge of some of the country’s important festivals that occupy an important space on the country’s annual festival calendar, Jomba Festival, Poetry Africa, Time of the Writer Festival and Durban International Film Festival.
“I’ve had several people ask what my plans are for the future.
When the Cape Town City Ballet announced my appointment to its Board many people thought that I was relocating to Cape Town. I will not be going to Cape Town. I look forward to supporting Debbie Turner, the CEO of the company and to working with the Board.
I am however relocating to Durban where I am taking up the post as the Director of the Centre for the Creative Arts; and to work with the team at the Centre to continue to build its four festivals — the Jomba Festival, Time of the Writer Festival, Poetry Africa Festival and the Durban International Film Festival.
I look forward to your continued support. In particular, I look forward to working with artists in KZN to develop, strengthen and grow an industry in which artists’ livelihoods and audience engagement join the dots between ART and SOCIETY,” wrote Mahomed on his facebook page on Friday, June 26.
This announcement has put a stop to intensive speculative conversations in the arts sector that have been taking place since Mahomed announced that he was leaving the Market Theatre with people wondering about his next career move. Until now, Mahomed had not made public his career plans.
In the meantime the Market Theaatre Board is hunting for Mahomed’s replacement for one of the most sought after positions in arts administration in the country, due mainly to the market Theatre’s illustrious history, including its role in the fight for freedom when the institution was started by the late Barney Simon and veteran theatre administrator and producer Mannie Manim in 1976. The theatre which is one of the country’s state subsidized receiving houses has to date won over 40 international 40 awards and has built several careers of artists who to date straddle stage and TV.
CityLife Arts understands that interviews have been held and a short-list of those who have put their hand up for this coveted theatre position has been drawn, but no appointment has been made yet. Some of those who have applied are well known names in the arts, and currently speculation is rife within arts circles in the country about who will get this high stakes position.